Jo didn't know how much longer she could lie there, motionless. The lights had only been out for ten minutes at the most, but it felt like ages. She wasn't used to this, sharing a bed with someone. She had never realized what a restless sleeper she must be; she wanted to turn over, scratch her nose, pull off her socks, adjust her pillow. But she couldn't, she was frozen still, flat on her back, doing her best not to brush the shoulder of the person at her side.
She closed her eyes, and opened them back up a few seconds later. This was going to be a long night. What did people do to fall asleep? Usually when her head hit the pillow, she was out. Should she count sheep? Count the number of tiles on the darkened ceiling? That sounded more boring than just lying their and trying to keep still, which was hard enough as it was. She closed her eyes again and concentrated on being drowsy.
Eventually she drifted off, until some small movement and a scratchy sound pulled her mind back awake with a start. Had she actually been asleep? Not much time could have passed - the same beam of moonlight was still a few feet above the headboard and she was still in the same rigid position. She heard the scratchy sound again and turned her head a fraction of an inch to get a glimpse of the person lying to her left.
Blair was playing with her bangs. Naturally. Blair couldn't go five minutes without toying with her hair during the day, why should it be any different at night? She only used one hand, combed through them, fluffed them up, and repeated the process as she stared absently at the ceiling.
Jo watched this go on for at least five minutes. She wanted to tell Blair to cut it out, but Tootie and Natalie were asleep across the room, and it was a known fact that she couldn't keep her voice down where Blair's hair was concerned. After some consideration she finally reached over, took hold of Blair's wrist, and pulled it down to her side.
"Oh," Blair started, and Jo could hear the surprise in her voice. "Sorry, I didn't know you were awake."
"How can I not be awake? You've been preening yourself for the last ten minutes," Jo whispered, irritated. She turned her head back up to the ceiling and closed her eyes. She kept hold of Blair's wrist, as a statement to keep still, which is why she was confused when she heard the same scratchy sound several minutes later. She opened her eyes and turned her head again.
Blair was playing with her bangs with her other hand.
Jo gritted her teeth and reached over, pulling Blair's other hand down away from her hair.
"Knock it off, or I'm going to knock your lights out," Jo whispered threateningly.
Blair huffed in annoyance. "Sorry." She attempted to pull her wrists out of Jo's grasp, but Jo held her hands at her side. "It's not my fault," Blair was muttering. Jo tried to tune her out but Blair kept talking. "We wouldn't even be in this situation if you hadn't left that nasty old tire on your mattress."
Jo tried to keep her voice low. "It's not my fault you locked yourself in here for two hours to try on your entire wardrobe, or that tire wouldn't have ruined my mattress in the first place."
Blair sighed. "Let's not have this fight again."
"Fine," Jo said through gritted teeth. "Then go to sleep." She turned her face away from Blair and stared through the darkness at her empty, mattress-less bed frame just a few feet away.
"Fine," Blair retorted. "Will you kindly unhand me so I can try to get some sleep?"
Jo wasn't sure why she didn't let go right away, only that it was an interesting feeling, having her fingers wrapped around Blair's wrists. They were bony, unlike the rest of her. Jo hesitated, but Blair pulled against her grasp and managed to get herself free.
Her hands empty, Jo pulled her side of the covers up under her chin, an uncertain, uncomfortable feeling settling over her. "Sorry," she muttered.
Blair was silent, aside from the emission of a small, weary sigh, which Jo figured was as close to silent as Blair could ever get.
The room was quiet, and Jo's eyes were just beginning to drift shut, until the mattress shifted and the blankets begin rustling and slowly began being pulled in the other direction.
"What are you doing?" she demanded without even opening her eyes.
Blair sighed again. "It's too hot in this room."
Instead of attempting to steal the covers, Blair was trying to push them down to the end of the bed, using her feet to gather and drag them down off herself.
"It's not hot, it's February," Jo said severely, holding tight to her side of the blanket so it didn't get jerked away.
"It may be February, but this room is a sauna." She kicked at the blankets and eventually got them completely off her legs, while Jo gripped her side in tight fists.
Blair continued to fidget, pushing at the comforter which was now in a tangle at her feet, until Jo hissed "Stop!" and lifted a leg out from under side of the covers and smacked it down over of Blair's. "What do I have to do to get you to be still? Sleep on top of you?"
Blair lay stock-still. Jo was surprised at her own words and was grateful that the shadowy room hid the involuntary rush of blood into her cheeks.
"Is that a threat?" Blair asked, sounding a little incredulous.
Jo didn't answer, but when Blair's foot made the slightest movement, Jo pressed her leg down over Blair's more firmly.
A scuffling of feet began. Blair tried to shove Jo's leg away, but Jo kicked back, and a catfight of their lower extremities continued until Blair somehow managed to trap Jo's leg between her own with a snicker.
"All right, you win," Jo said. She attempted to pull her leg away but Blair squeezed her thighs together, trapping Jo's clothed leg between her bare ones. Even in the dark, Jo could see that Blair's nightgown had gathered dangerously near her waist. Blair either didn't notice, or didn't care. Jo was almost certain it was the former.
"Ha," Blair answered blithely. "You say that as if you're surprised. I always win, you've been around long enough to know that."
Jo scowled reflexively and again tried to free her leg from Blair's. She could feel the heat in her face, and the uncomfortable sensation of her heart thudding in her ears.
It was a disturbing feeling, the way her body had suddenly reacted to the sight of her leg between Blair's thighs. It didn't help that Blair kept intermittently squeezing her legs together, letting out a giggle that Jo couldn't help but think sounded vaguely sinister, as if Blair knew exactly what she was doing, and how Jo was reacting to it.
Jo swallowed heavily. She didn't know how to deal with the strange sensation now fluttering around in her stomach, so with a final squirm she managed to free herself from Blair's thighs and tucked her leg safely back under the comforter.
Blair didn't do anything for several moments, and Jo was silent, her eyes fixed on the ceiling, her arms crossed over her torso. She pinched her lips together. She was a little humiliated, and she wasn't quite sure why, which made her even more mad at herself.
"Sorry," Blair said in a meek voice. Jo could almost hear a hint of confusion, or embarrassment, or some mixture of the two. Either way, she didn't respond and tightened the fold of her arms.
Out of the corner of her eye, Jo watched as Blair adjusted her nightgown, pulling it down to a respectable length. She then sighed, and said quietly, "Good night, Jo."
And without any hesitation, as if it were second nature, Blair leaned over and gave Jo a brief, light kiss on the cheek. She then settled down into her pillow and was quiet.
"Good night, Blair," Jo eventually answered through her utter bewilderment. She turned to the blonde, whose eyes were closed, a peaceful expression on her shadowed face.
She wasn't sure what she was doing or exactly why she was doing it, but Jo proceeded to lean over and return the kiss on Blair's cheek, then quickly returned to her former position. She closed her eyes, almost in shock at herself. She didn't regret it and she wasn't sorry she did it, that was what perturbed and slightly terrified her. Blair's cheek felt exactly the way she imagined it would. Girly.
As if the night couldn't get any more inconceivable, Jo felt Blair begin to inch toward her. Her heart promptly stopped beating. But Blair simply nestled up beside her, and settled her head delicately onto Jo's shoulder.
Jo had no idea what was happening and wasn't sure if she was capable of understanding it. But, regardless, she tilted her head until it rested near Blair's.
Blair tilted her head upward, raising a hand and fiddling with Jo's disheveled bangs. Jo bit her tongue and didn't protest.
"You know," Blair said softly, "you really should let me do your hair sometime."
Jo couldn't stop herself from answering "Fat chance."
With a small smile, Blair let her hand drop down and again curled up against Jo's shoulder.
Jo slowly tilted her head to rest near Blair's, uneasiness settling over her. She couldn't comprehend what had happened, much less what it actually meant. She wasn't entirely sure if it meant anything at all. She eventually closed her eyes, and drifted into an doubtful sleep.